tv BBC World News America PBS April 24, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
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>> and now "bbc world news america." >> this is bbc world news america, reporting from washington. new revelations about the cozy ties between the murdoch media empire and the british government. not even the year in existence and preparing for battle. south sudan is a new country ready to resume an old war. and it was once known as the miracle in the desert, but now california has gone from paradise to nightmare. >> it could send cloud of toxic dust across southern california.
>> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. a press inquiry in london has shed new light on the full extent of the close ties between the british government and the media empire of rupert murdoch. today's hearing put his son james murdoch in the hot seat. he spent over six hours being grilled about the phone hacking scandal linked to senior u.k. politicians. >> the company which she once let has been accused of having to close a relationship with various public officials. tonight, after a day of evidence from james murdock, the suggestion is it was to close a relationship with the office of a cabinet member. mr. murdoch stepped forward to give evidence under oath.
>> i swear that the evidence i shall give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. could he was taken first to phone hacking, and, time and again, he claimed ignorance of the scale of wrongdoing at the company he headed. >> it is not what i was told at the time. that is not what they communicated to me. >> and that was pretty much get on phone hacking. the former executive chairman either could not remember or claim ignorance. and then to the question of news international's political links and specifically to the companies bid in 2010 to take control of bskyb television. it should have been the crowning moment of james mark squier, and that all seem to be going so well. -- of james murder of's career. that, mr. murdoch found himself at a pre-christmas dinner at the home of rebekah brooks, then chief executive of
news international. one of the guest was david cameron. had he discussed the bskyb bid with the prime minister? >> i imagine i expressed the hope that it would go the way that was judicial. >> jeremy hunt was the cultural secretary. he had a legal obligation to act impartially. the picture that emerged at the enquiry was of surreptitious contact with news international. council quoted from dozens of confidential e-mails from the office of jeremy hunt. >> you were being given private information about the secretary of state. >> i think this is a private view. >> council pointed out that jeremy hunt was acting in a
quasi judicial capacity, deciding whether the news international bid could proceed. he was, in effect, a judge. >> he was in contact with this special advisor directly, so you were having interactions with him, weren't you? >> i would not say there were cobourg. i would imagine his advisers were communicating around other transactions as well -- out not said there were covert. >> froedtert michelle said he obtained a copy of what mr. hunt would be telling the house of commons the following day. >> you manage to get some info for the plan for tomorrow, although absolutely illegal. what do you make of that? >> i thought it was a joke. there was a wink.
it is a joke. >> tonight, as james murdock departed from the high court -- for his part, mr. hunt declined to comment. >> i am sorry, i am not going to say anymore now. >> tonight's the culture secretary has resisted calls for him to step down and has asked for his appearance at the leveson inquiry to be moved up. we have always known that the murdoch's for close to successive british government. what more did we learn this morning? >> what we learned was the detail of his pursuit to acquire all of british sky broadcasting, the biggest broadcasting company in terms of revenue. it has always been a very
controversial bid. there is a lot of popular opposition to it. the veil was drawn back today on the conversations that news corp. had with very senior government ministers, the prime minister, the chancellor, and most importantly of all, the culture media in pursuit of that takeover bid. >> the allegations have been that the merger talks have been close not just a conservative government, as in this case, but with labour government as well -- the murdoch's have been close. >> it goes back 20 or 30 years. what is clear it is that murdoch has been unbelievably successful and had far too close relations with senior politicians of the two main
parties. the reason for the disclosures today being so explosive is because the culture secretary is supposed to behave like an impartial judge when it comes to a takeover of the sort we are going through an the sort that was carried out by news corp. in pursuit of bskyb. a whole series of e-mails were published which appears to indicate mr. hunt was not acting in partially, but he was very much in favor of the bid and was trying to help it. charges's denies those that he did act impartially and if he will be able to prove that -- that it was misleading, but it is very, very embarrassing for him. >> thank you very much, robert. in other news from around the world, the u.s. justice
department has filed its first criminal charges related to the deepwater horizon disaster in the gulf of mexico. of former bp engineer is being accused of destroying evidence. kurt mix is alleged to have deleted up to 200 text messages which outlined how the bp efforts to cap the well and stop the flow of oil into the sea were failing. the palestinian authority says israel has pushed the peace process into a dead-end yet again after the israeli government granted legal status to three west bank settlements. the palestinians say the sediments were and still are illegal. -- the settlements were and still are illegal. in syria, there are multiple reports of violence in the capital today. a car bomb exploded in central damascus, wounding at least three people. it is being blamed on armed terrorists. these are unverified images of clashes in the suburb of duma.
the security council was just updated on the deployment of more forces. laura, what did kofi annan and tell the security council? >> in the last hour, kofi annan has told the security council the situation in syria and the level of violence there is unacceptable. he said he is particularly concerned about violence surging after u.n. monitors would go into cities. he has called for the rapid deployment of a u.n. observer mission to syria. there are just 11 monitors in syria at the moment and there has been authorization of 300. he said in a speech in sweden separately but related, where he has learned that the use of monitors to try and monitor conflicts like the one in syria,
it offers no guarantees without strong international backing. the un security council is divided on this question. >> meanwhile, we have the u.s. secretary of state, hillary clinton, saying that washington is preparing for the eventual failure of the kofi annan peace plan. do you think there is any chance that if the peace plan it is recognized to have failed, there can be -- >> russia and china will never say that it has failed. they always say it should be given more time. either the u.s. will act unilaterally or the new breed union -- european union will do something even stronger. there is tension. possibly this is what diplomats are saying, that there is less violence than there would be because u.s. managers are in the process of going in. on the other hand, are they just
providing cover for the syrian government to carry on under the guise of cooperation? >> it has not even been a country for year, but already south sudan says it is at work. the south sudanese leader said that sudan has declared war on his country. china bought a lot of oil from both sudan and south sudan and is urged restraint in the conflict. >> the south sudan army is preparing for the possibility of an all-out war in sudan. it is reinforced along the border and the ministry says they know sudan is doing the same thing. the trigger for the latest crisis is that the fighting has
not stopped. the country's president said this was a decisive moment. [unintelligible] on monday, the the town was hit. the main target may have been abridged, but at least one civilian was killed. the air raid has been condemned by the united nations. the south sudanese say that have seen more aerial bombardment but there has been no ground fighting since sunday. the battle for the oil fields are extremely popular here. this is a front-line town and no one here thinks they have seen the last of the fighting. the cost of the fighting is already high. the south sudan archbishop has warned political leaders could create the war that both countries do not want.
leaders on both sides are calling to pull back from the brink, but it does not seem to be working. >> for more on the growing threat of all-out war between the two countries, i am joined by the deputy director of the african center of the atlantic council. thanks very much for coming in. is it clear who is the main aggressor in this case? >> obviously both the north and south -- for the most part, it has seen that the north has been more aggressive than us out, until the south move to capture the oilfield a couple of weeks ago. that was definitely a massive step in terms of escalating the conflict. >> this was kind of inevitable. last summer when south sudan declared itself an independent country and voted for independence, the unresolved
issues of he was going to have access to the oil and therefore the revenues from oil. >> that is true. basically the north and south have been in a war for decades. there has been a longstanding have a of looking at the oil revenues as a zero sum game. and the border territory is a zero sum game. it would have been unrealistic to expect the two sides to say we are divorced but we are still joined at the hip and we have to start getting along if we want to succeed. >> everyone is hoping it does not get to a bad point again. it seems like the key player will be china. what do you think the position of beijing will be in this conflict? >> this is a very interesting test with china's policy. china is going to have to take
some sort of a stand but it has great incentive to have a great relationship with the north and south. >> they have enough clout to say we do not want a war. >> you have to understand that china is not really going in alone. the united states has a profound interest in making sure the north and south sudan do not go to war. ethiopia has an interest and britain has an interest. what is happening here is a concerted and uniform effort by the international community to prevent the war. in the past, that has worked. surly in july, everyone was expecting a conflagration in sudan, but really the international diplomacy and commitment prevented that from happening.
i am hopeful that in this case that will happen again. >> thank you very much for coming to join me. in the pakistani city of lahore , a bomb exploded at the main railway station. the attack happened just after a busy train had pulled in. pakistan struggle against islamic militants is that is most intense right now on the border with afghanistan. militia groups there recently sparked a flood of representative disease -- of refugees. >> it started to take on more of a look of a small town. you can see this long fence toward the horizon. row after row you can see along
beside me. there are some college facilities. this camp has been taking an influx after influx -- some toilet facilities. the army has regained control of that area and now is the khyber agency but there have been huge numbers fleeing the conflict between militants and the pakistani army. the un has set up to 10,000 people have been registered and have had to stop taking in new people. they are finding it very difficult to feed these people, difficult for hygiene and the kind of medical treatment they need as well. it is very difficult to plan an aid mission when you simply don't know how long these people have to stay here away from the
conflict, and just when the next operation will begin in another area of pakistan. >> you are watching bbc world news america. still to come, watch your step. one chinese girl got the shock of a lifetime while simply strolling down the sidewalk. after five days of testifying, today anders breivik was forced to listen quietly while others describe the damage he caused when he bombed the oslo government district last july. we have the latest from the norwegian capital. >> for the past five days, the court has heard nothing but the testimony of anders breivik himself. but today, a chance to start hearing the other side.
an explosives expert taking the witness stand to give details about the car bomb breivik built to attack the main government in oslo. he show this video of a test explosion by the military, demonstrating just how powerful breivik's bomb was. it had the potential to kill hundreds. the actual car bomb last july killed eight people and left nine others seriously injured. when breivik drove the van up to the government building here, he was not able to park in the exact location where he knew he would cause the maximum damage. it was midafternoon on friday during summer holiday. some of those who were inside the government offices and survived have also been giving evidence in court today. we had to notify the police and
secure video footage. we had to make sure it did not get damaged so we covered the servers with plastic. that was crucial, as it showed breivik walking away from the van before it blew up. there were able to trace him through the registration number, but that could not stop him before he carried out his second attack. >> have a century ago, it was known as the french riviera of california. now the good times and the sea itself are drying up. formed accidentally in the early 1900's, the area became a tourist attraction with all the trappings of a luxury resort. but now the price tag is too high for the cash strapped
state. -- estate. >> it is california's largest lake, a vast inland oasis created by a mistake a century ago. the miller:the desert, they call it. -- the miracle in the desert, the college. >> the story of the miracle see in the desert. >> the payday was in the 1950's, when the rich and famous flocked to its resort and marina, but it did not last. this is the sultan see today -- salton sea today. the irrigation water that feeds it has created a see far saltier than the ocean. >> the options are very limited. it is not exactly the greatest water in the world.
has heavy assaults common nutrient overload, contaminant issues such as arsenic. we did not have any way to offset that with clean, fresh water. >> it was created in 1905 when an irrigation project accidentally diverted the flooding colorado river into the desert. it survived and thrived. but why save it? the birds are one reason. it is one of the most important sites for millions of migrating birds, and most of california's wetlands have been concreted over. >> there is a lot more at stake than simply fish and wildlife here. we are talking about a potential air quality of disaster if we do nothing. >> this is a poor place. the people who live on the shores have heard of many
farfetched schemes for years. >> i think somebody better just get up and do what they are supposed to do. it has been long enough that the money should be do not be doing something instead of going to studies. >> in its heyday, it was an oasis in the desert. all that is now gone. if the water evaporates, all that will be left is a salt pan. letting it died would be more expensive than saving, but today america is more about cutting and spending. >> not the most tempting place to go. now to an amazing escape captured on video.
what about the pavement? this is what happened to a teenage girl and a video captured all. >> an ordinary view of an ordinary street, until this happened. in case you blinked and missed it, here it is again. now you see her, now you don't. running water had created a cavity under the pavement and the girl broke through. a passing taxi driver saw her disappear and rushed over to see if he could help. he saw are clinging to an underground cable and climbed down after her. he said he called out to her but she did not respond. i shook her little and she came to, he said. a crowd gathered and soon the rest services arrived. down in the gloom, the cabbie comforted the terrified teenager.
the latter kept moving on the loose mud and the girl was screaming in fear. i told her to get out first. eventually, she did. the teenager was shaken and bloody, but apparently uninjured by her subterranean ordeal. a moment later, out came her gallant rescuer. it may be some time before either of them take the pavement for granted again. >> i still cannot get over that shot of her falling straight into that pit. that brings today show to a close. you can get updates on our stories any time on our website. from all of us here, thank you for watching.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, union bank, >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry already know. working to help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we are expertise and solutions in a wide range of industries.